July 25th 2015
All Night Transmitter Hunt

Hider: Bob WB6JPI

I had a plan.


Part 1:


Pigeon Pass in Grand Terrace runs between Moreno Valley and Grand Terrace in back of Box Springs and Blue  Mountains. But at it’s highest point it is blocked. They are building a huge housing tract  covering the north end of Pigeon Pass road and that end is all messed up. None of this appears on any map as they all still show it going through. I will lure hunters into the valley at the north end and have wonder just where a transmitter on the south end is as there are a lot of little roads that don’t get up to the end of the south end of Pigeon Pass road.  Also the road ends at the top of a very steep cliff with the other side of the barricade running down and behind so a transmitter that is up against the cliff would be 400 ft above the valley below and have a clear shot at Baldy and Crestline to the north but would be completely shielded to the south. In fact looking for this transmitter should be tough as can only be heard from the North but you can’t get there from there, and from the south you cannot hear it behind the cliff. Should be fun..


Part 2


Almost all of the hunters take bearings from their car and elsewhere using a beam antenna that they have to sweep while watching the amplitude of the signal to determine the angle of the maximum signal. This works great with good sensitivity and accurate bearings as long as the signal is on long enough to sweep the antenna. If it too short to get much of a sweep angle you note the magnitude and wait for the next transmission and get some more angles swept. You can continue this until you have located a the maximum and go for it. But what if the transmitter changes strength between transmissions? I had built a rotation hidden transmitter back in the 70s but didn’t appreciate the short transmission factor, so now is a chance to try again. I built two spinning antennas a four element Yagi vertically polarized and a three element vertical Yagi. The spin was about 5 RPM and the transmission was about 4 seconds long so it wasn’t obvious it was spinning.  (I later found out that some hunters thought I was driving around with the transmitters in my car and I got searched a couple times). So the timing was doing its job.


The hunt


I prepared12 transmitter. I didn’t intend to hide 12 but it was such a fine day although a little warm. I hid 8. I needed to be sure they would know about T2 (the transmitter at the South end of Pigeon Pass) so they would have to come in originally from the North. They also need to eventually get to T3 and T4 (the two rotating transmitter). So I needed some “come –on”  transmitters to get them on the South side of pass.


 I left the house around 7 am and arrived at the spot for T4 (a little wooded park in a gully in the middle of a housing tract with only a path for entry and no parking) at  7:30 and set up the rotator and stuff and turned it on at about 8 AM. On to T3 and set up the second spinning transmitters. I broke the mount and had to tie it to an existing fence post and had to raise it up a couple feet to clear some existing bushes with its spinning antenna. And got it running by 9:15 AM . Raced to the end of Pigeon Pass and got T2 on at 9:45 but they could not hear it at the start.  Big problem as I only had 15 minutes to when the hunt starts….


I turned on the after-burner on the Prius and flew to where I knew I could get in and by 10:05 I had T10 on the air running 30 watts into a 17 element beam pointed at Baldy. I was tightening the antenna sections after I turned it on and accidentally touched my cheek to the end of 10th director element while it was transmitting and now I have a little burn spot on my cheek.


The come-on transmitters were next. T9 on the east side across the street from a church with a clear look at T2 and T9 at the intersection of  Mt. Vernon and Spring on the west side.  For fun I added a nanoT  (25 mw) T1 across from this T9, 30 feet away. They also have a T2 line-of-sight. I then threw in another T9 hanging from a power pole over the 215 freeway. Yes I have three T9s…sorry about that.



T1  (Sign in  T5) Nano T 25 mw wire dipole vertical hanging in a bush  34 0.7247

-117 18.8113

T2  (Sign in T8)  Micro T voice “WB6JPI TEE TWO”  200 mw horiz dipole 33 59.8524

-117 16.8010

T9-1 (Sign in T9) 20 W Ringo in bush by Church  34 0.8654

-117 16.9751

T9-2 (Sign in  T 10) 2 w into square ant hanging from tower strut

T9-3 (Sign in  T8) 3 W 4 el vert but not connected. 34 0.7156

-117 18.8000

T10 (Sign in T1) 30 watts 17 el horiz 33 58.5394

-117 12.3629  

“WB6JPI” (Sign in T3) Micro T, 15 sec 3el vert spinning

“WB6JPI” (sign in T4) Micro T, 30 sec 4 el vert spinning


Transmitters are by sign in sheets numbers

        T1:(T10)  T2(T2)    T3(JPI-1)   T4(JPI-2)    T9(T10)     T10(T9-2)      FND  MILES

N6AIN   63.9      122.8      DNF        116.5         106.6      100.6           5
N6MI    69        105        99          102           76         49             6   105 WIN

AB6PA   86        DNF       103.5        DNF           96        170             4

WA6RJN  75.1      109.1      62.1        65.7          83.5       87.9           6   109.1

KF6GQ  112.3       DNF       DNF        119.3          DNF       101.6           3

WA6CYY DNF         DNF       DNF         DNF           82.5       DNF            1

AF6O is the winner
and must hide in November in spite of the needs of the DNC.

No one found T5 or T8.  T5 could be heard from T2 and T8 was broke.

I left the transmitters in place until Sunday morning.  Several were still running including the 15 second rotating voice T and T1 the big one. I understand that the big one, “fell” over after it was found by AF6O. It deserved it after what it did to my cheek.